Indirect access is a topic I have been following since it first came up in the news, particularly after SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference when Bill McDermott addressed it onstage. Nearly five months later, my ASUG colleague, Chris Crone, describes our current state accurately in the title of her recent blog post: So Many Questions, So Few Answers.
First, in case you missed it: ASUGNews and leadership have been covering this issue throughout the process:
- ASUG’s View on SAP’s Licensing Announcement (May 18, 2017, while at SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference)
- Next Steps for ASUG Members on Indirect Access with SAP (May 23, 2017, following up after the event)
- Examining SAP’s New Indirect Access Licensing Policy (and corresponding white paper)
And Chris's post from earlier this week.
Next, in my typical "dog with a bone" approach, I went looking for answers to some of these questions in regards to SAP Business One. I discovered that for indirect access, as with the X-Files, that the truth is, indeed, out there. But for SAP Business One customers, you must first accurately understand how the various policies impact your deployment before you can decide how you need to respond.
SAP Business One on Microsoft SQL Server – The Coast [Seems to Be] Clear!
The first aspect customers need to consider is that the situation is very different if you are running SAP Business One on Microsoft SQL Server or if you are running on SAP HANA using the SAP HANA Runtime engine licensed as part of SAP Business One version for SAP HANA.
In May, I wrote a piece on this topic on LinkedIn Pulse, laying out the SQL Server scenario. As it seems to me, this scenario seems to be quite simple: as long as your SQL Server is correctly licensed, you do not need to purchase any indirect access licenses to access your data in read-only mode, regardless of the tools that you use to access the data.
Version for SAP HANA? Check Your Usage
However, if you read the documentation and End User License Agreements that form part of the agreement between you (or me) as a customer and SAP, you will see that utilising the SAP HANA Runtime complicates the issue. SAP HANA Runtime is offered with SAP Business One at a deep discount, and the document states clearly that any user accessing the data from that SAP HANA Server requires, at the bare minimum, an Indirect User License. This should raise some questions among any customers whose users connect to SAP Business One version for SAP HANA through SAP Lumira (or QlikView, PowerBI, or even Excel via ODBC), as well as a call-to-action to learn whether you have (or need) a corresponding named user license.
So there you have it; that's the scenario from the answers I could find. Now you need to decide how you address this within your organization. My suggestion, like those from SAP and ASUG throughout this conversation, is to research whether you are properly licensed and create a dialogue to resolve any issues sooner, rather than later. For SAP Business One customers, a call to your partner should be in order to find the best way to continue accessing your data while minimising the potential cost of licenses that you may need to acquire.
What is Different in SAP Business One on SQL or Version for SAP HANA?
And while we are on this topic, don't miss my ASUG webcast examining Microsoft SQL Server and SAP HANA as database platform choices for SAP Business One. You can join me on Oct. 12 for the live session or access the session any time on demand.